Radio Readers Book Club

Beauty of the In-Between

Oct 16, 2020
Orange County Archives / Creative Commons

I’m Jonathan Baker, a writer from Canyon, Texas, and I’ve been asked to talk a little about this month’s Radio Readers Book Club selection, which is called Border Radio: Quacks, Yodelers, Pitchmen, Psychics, and Other Amazing Broadcasters of the American Airwaves. The book recounts the history of the so-called “border blasters,” radio stations that popped up on the Mexican side of the Texas and California borders in order to evade US broadcasting regulations. Many of these stations were so powerful that they could be heard as far away as Chicago, England, and even Australia, as the AM signals bounced off the Earth’s nighttime atmosphere.

As the title suggests, these stations were home to all manner of kooks and weirdos, as well as some future stars. Perhaps the most famous border radio personality was Wolfman Jack, the legendary rock n’ roll DJ who growled and howled into the microphone for hours every night, scandalizing timid souls in the American heartland. There were also the psychics, like the fortune-teller Rose Dawn, who scandalized Texas border towns by driving around in a pink Cadillac with her live-in lover, a mysterious man known simply as “Koran.” And there were the purported holy men, like prosperity gospel preacher Reverend Ike, who proclaimed himself “the first chocolate minister to preach positive self-image psychology.” And then, of course, there were the doctors, including the renowned Dr. Brinkley of Del Rio, who nightly blanketed a continent with impassioned talks on the healing powers of goat testicles.

While quarantine has seemingly slowed down many of our lives, one High Plains poet and author has been keeping very busy. Tonight at 7pm CT, Amarillo-based writer Chera Hammons launches her first novel, Monarchs of the Northeast Kingdom, with an online reading and discussion—and you’re invited.

Pioneer Who Shaped Broadcast's World

Feb 12, 2020
Wikimedia Commons

Hi, I’m Valerie Mendoza talking to you from Topeka about Edward R. Murrow and the Birth of Broadcast Journalism by Bob Edwards. One of the selections for this season’s theme of Radio Waves. 

Radio Readers BookByte: Remembering Radio on Radio

Jan 24, 2020
Wikimedia Commons

I first read Paulette Jiles’ novel, STORMY WEATHER, a couple of years ago, before I had any idea that HPPR’s Radio Readers Book Club would be considering this novel as a discussion group pick for a topic called “Radio Waves.”

Radio Readers BookByte: Love Those Stoddard Women

Jan 22, 2020
Dorthea Lange, Farm Security Administration / Library of Congress

Hi, I’m Marcy McKay from Amarillo and author of the award-winning novel, Pennies from Burger Heaven.

I’ve loved stories my whole life, so I’m thrilled to be a Radio Reader for High Plains Public Radio’s Book Club. I couldn’t wait to get started on Stormy Weather by Paulette Jiles.

Radio Readers BookByte: Family Troubles

Jan 20, 2020
Dorthea Lange, Farm Security Administration / Library of Congress

This is Leslie VonHolten with another HPPR Radio Readers Book Byte.

Jeanine and her sisters Mayme and Bea, and their mother Elizabeth, are forced to forge a new life in the book Stormy Weather by Paulette Jiles.

Their father was, to put it mildly, a drunken lout who worked hard and played harder in the oil fields of Texas.

The holidays are near, which often means time for rest, relaxation, & READING! Here are a few holiday book ideas that’ll keep you on track with the upcoming 2020 Spring Read for HPPR’s Radio Readers Book Club,  RADIO WAVES:

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Sequoyah's View of Death

Sep 16, 2019
Wikimedia Commons

Hello, welcome to High Plains Public Radio. I'm Freddy Gipp. I’m an enrolled member of the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma and my Indian name is “T’sa(N) T’hoop Ah(N)”, meaning Lead Horse in the Kiowa language.

I was born and raised in Lawrence, Kansas, where I graduated from the University of Kansas in 2016 with a degree in Strategic Communications from the William Allen White School of Journalism.

Radio Reader Book Leader Freddy Gipp

Sep 9, 2019

Freddy Gipp was born and raised in Lawrence, Kansas. He is an enrolled member of the Apache Tribe of Oklahoma and his Indian name is T'sa(N) T'hoop A'h(N), meaning Lead Horse in Kiowa. 

Gipp graduated from the University of Kansas in 2016 with a degree in Strategic Communications from the William Allen White School of Journalism. 

Just a reminder that HPPR's Radio Readers Book Club's 2019 Fall Read starts in August. The theme is "Navigating Uncharted Waters —Past, Present, & Future." Book leaders and texts were selected by HPPR Radio Readers Steering Committee, and they all explore the ways in which our childhood and life experiences inform our world views. Are we products of nature or nurture? Many intriguing questions will be explored. 

Here are the books to be discussed during the Fall Read of 2019:

Girl Waits With A Gun - Early Woman Crimefighter

Mar 4, 2019

Hi, this is Stacie Frobenius with a BookByte for Girl Waits With Gun by Amy Stewart.  When choosing books for this series, I tried to pick books that I had already read and known were good.  I hadn’t read this book or had it recommended to me. 

It was the result of an Amazon search for books about detectives.  Amy Stewart takes a true news article about one of our nation’s first female crime fighters, Constance Kopp and weaves a story around the events surrounding her time in the spotlight.   

All right, HPPR Radio Readers! It's time to crack open those mystery novels as we move into the 2019 Spring Read: It's a Mystery to Me! This season will surely delight with a huge list of stories, covering classic noir novels, true crime nonfiction, vintage whodunnits, regional mysteries, and so much more.

Radio Readers Book Club Holiday Tradition Listen Now!

Dec 22, 2018

Tune in tonight for an HPPR Radio Readers Book Club holiday tradition: the two-hour broadcast of a High Plains author's delightful Christmas story: A Carol Dickens Christmas, featuring a fresh reading by the book's author, Thomas Fox Averill

BROADCAST SCHEDULE: 

Saturday, December 22th—  7-9pm CT

Monday, December 24th— 7-9pm CT

Lock the doors. Close the curtains. Keep the lights on. And get ready for HPPR Radio Readers Book Club's 2019 Spring ReadIt's a Mystery to Me! This season will surely delight readers who love thrillers, true crime, murder mysteries, classic detective stories, and regional authors exposing the darker side of our High Plains home. Now let's all snuggle up with this hearty stack of books and try to figure out WHODUNNIT! See below for the book list!

Click here to see a printable, two-page Reader's Guide, complete with bios and books! 

Tune in tonight for an HPPR Radio Readers Book Club holiday tradition: the two-hour broadcast of a High Plains author's delightful Christmas story: A Carol Dickens Christmas, featuring a fresh reading by the book's author, Thomas Fox Averill

BROADCAST SCHEDULE: 

Saturday, December 22th—  7-9pm CT

Monday, December 24th— 7-9pm CT

I Learned To Hunt As A Boy

Sep 14, 2018
Marcia Epstein

In the novel Medicine Walk by Richard Wagamese, hunting is a major theme. Perhaps some readers are surprised by how young Franklin Starlight is when he learns to clean a rifle, age five, and by age seven, he is learning to shoot. He shoots targets and learns how to track. At the age of nine, he gets his first deer.

The 2018 Fall Read's theme is Let’s Talk – Aging, Death & Dying.  You'll find thoughts and ideas about books from Radio Readers through a series of BookBytes posted below. If you'd like to contribute a BookByte, simply contact Kathleen Holt for more information. 

Book lovers, mark your calendars! On Sunday, May 6, from 6 to 8 p.m. CST, HPPR Radio Readers invites you to a live, on-air, book discussion for the 2018 Spring Read: "WWI-Perspectives."

Don’t miss a spirited discussion of our four books with panelists from Panhandle-Plains Historical MuseumBethel College, & High Plains Public Radio + educators from across our region! The panelists will explore themes raised in the discussion of the book through contributed Radio Reader BookBytes. Plus, it will stream live on HPPR's Facebook page!

So what does HPPR Radio Readers Book Club's 2018 Spring Read have in store? 

Here's more info about all four books! 

Radio Readers BookByte: Edible Stories

Oct 6, 2017

Hello Radio Readers!  Now that we’ve explored the food described by Federal Writers’ Project authors in The Food of a Younger Land, and mulled over Joanne Harris’s novel of food, family, and a community caught up in the complexities of wartime occupation, Five Quarters of the Orange, it’s time to move on to the third book in our Food and Story series, Edible Stories: A Novel in Sixteen Parts

Mark Kurlansky, a noted food author with best selling books on salt, cod, and oysters, throws us a real curve with Edible Stories.  His mining of the Federal Writers’ Project depression era essays in our series opener, Food of a Younger Land, did not prepare this reader for the wacky, disjointed-but-not-disjointed series of stories he creates in Edible Stories: A Novel in Sixteen Parts.  I found these fictitious short stories (or are they chapters?) both delightful and baffling.  Kurlansky presents us with a parade of characters who are odd, to say the least.  He organizes this book with a motif of, yes, food, but in a most unexpected way.  Each of the sixteen stories bears the title of a specific food: “Muffins,” “Hot Pot,” “Orangina,” “The Icing on the Cake.”  The exception is the last story, titled “Margaret.” 

Radio Readers BookByte: Larger than Life

Oct 4, 2017
WIKIPEDIA

Hi, Radio Readers – I’m Melany Wilks talking to you from my home in Colby, KS.

The book, “Five Quarters of Orange,” by Joanne Harris brought many different emotions and thoughts to me as I read it.  As the author talked about Les Laveuses being in a small town in France, she led us to understand that the Dartigen family and community may not have suffered such oppression as those in a city.  She shares the crop failures and natural disasters that came along with the invasion of an occupying force.  These events worked together to create circumstances that encourage Boise, Cassis and Reinette to deal with the enemy soldiers.  The book shares intrigue and caring between the three youth and a particular soldier.  It is a circumstance that will keep you reading!

HPPR Radio Readers Book Club is thrilled to announce our FALL READ, and this one will be yummy. Here's the lineup, so get reading! 

ATTENTION ALL FOODIES: Share your story about food on the High Plains, or review one of the books in our Fall Read! Our on-air Book Bytes offer a platform for voices across our region. For more information, contact Kathleen Holt

My Dune Epiphany

Apr 21, 2017
Astronaut William Anders / Christmas Eve 1968 from Apollo 8

Some years after the Apollo astronauts took the first color photograph showing the earth rising over the lunar surface, I read the epic science fiction novel Dune. I was a lonely kid growing up in Southeast Kansas and I was drawn to the novel by its action. I didn’t understand the nuance contained in the pages of the dog-eared mass market paperback copy I carried around for weeks, but after reading and re-reading the novel in the years to come, I began to  its skillful depiction of politics, religion, and the fight for limited natural resources.

Will We be Here When the River Returns?

Mar 3, 2017
MAX McCOY / Emporia, Kansas

I’m hiking down a dry riverbed on a cold morning in winter, and with each step my boots make a sharp sound in the gravel. This is Cimarron Crossing, where travelers along the Santa Fe Trail had a serious choice: They could continue up the Arkansas River on the mountain route, which would take them to Bent’s Old Fort and then south over the Raton pass. Or, they could choose the middle crossing. They might ford the river here, or at points nearby, and follow the Cimarron Route, which was shorter but had less water and poorer grass, often called “The Waterscrape.” Neither route was easy, and the consequences of a bad choice could mean hardship or even death.

Native American Perspectives on Water

Feb 22, 2017
Frank Henderson / Metropolitan Museum Collection

Denise Low’s grandfather of Delaware Indian heritage was among the dislocated Eastern Natives who settled on the Kansas Plains of the 19th Century.  As one might guess, history and heritage both are important to her story as they are for many Native American poets and writers.

Today, Denise, a former Kansas Poet Laureate and a valued friend to the Radio Readers Book Club, explores shares the thoughts of some of her colleagues around the topic of water.

In the near desert Great Plains, waterways define the land for Native peoples.

Thoughts on the Rebels of Milagro

Feb 20, 2017
JONATHAN BAKER / Canyon, Texas

I’m Jonathan Baker, a writer in Canyon, Texas, and I’ve been asked to talk a little about this month’s Radio Readers Book Club Read, The Milagro Beanfield War by John Nichols. I read this book twenty years ago, after a friend of mine got a forearm tattoo of the tequila-toting Latino skeleton illustration from the cover of the book. I figured there must be something worth investigating in Nichols’s novel if my friend, a Jewish agitator from Austin, would get permanent ink dedicated to a story of Chicanos in northern New Mexico. So I read it. And I loved it.

Donde la luz es violeta / Where the Light is Violet.

Feb 15, 2017
XANATH CARAZA / Kansas City

I am Xánath Caraza, and I today will read two bilingual poems from my book Donde la luz es violeta / Where the Light is Violet.

Susurros en la atmósfera

Polvo de oro cubre el agua de Venecia

esta mañana. Las gaviotas no se han

fijado en mí, hace frío en esta barca a

la deriva. El viento salvaje de la laguna

corre por doquier, alborota mi pelo negro.

Voy en busca de Marco Polo, su fantasma.

Los ecos de sus pasos encerrados en este

Agua - Water Poems

Feb 1, 2017
Xánath Caraza, translated by Sandra Kingery

I am Xánath Caraza, and today I will read two bilingual poems from my book Donde la luz es violeta / Where the Light is Violet.

 

Agua  

 

Agua de las fuentes brota

con cada inhalación se adhiere agua de vida estás presente en las células del cuerpo y átomos.

Agua evaporada sofocas en este momento con el sol la densa atmósfera

en la que me muevo, agua que flota.

Agua que se abre, agua que salta.

Melodías de agua suenan en mi oído susurran viento, viento que se mezcla erosiona, que merma, hiende

se mete en la piel.

Emana a borbotones.

Me estremezco agua helada, agua sólida.

Deseos perdidos, agua recia, solidificados sentimientos, agua pétrea, tremenda pérdida.

Water and Replenishment

Jan 26, 2017
Karen Madorin - Logan, Kansas

Welcome to High Plains Public Radio Readers Book Club, an on-air, on-line community of readers exploring themes of common interest to those who live and work on the High Plains.  In this, our third Book club series, Water and Replenishment is our theme.   In our region, defined by low precipitation, few running rivers, and aquifers with slow rates of replenishment, water is in great demand.  Can we insure we have enough water -- for cooking and cleaning, for livestock and crops, for feedlots and plants, for reservoirs and swimming pools? for everyone?

“Civilization has been a permanent dialogue between human beings and water.” – Paolo Lugari (Colombia)

“Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.” – W.H. Auden

“Water, thou hast no taste, no color, no odor; canst not be defined, art relished while ever mysterious. Not necessary to life, but rather life itself, thou fillest us with a gratification that exceeds the delight of the senses.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery, From Wind, Sand and Stars, 1939

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